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Healthy $1m girl for Bec, Lleyton Pair thrilled despite gut feeling for a boy


30 November 2005

THE nation's much anticipated million dollar baby has arrived as Bec and Lleyton Hewitt welcomed a healthy girl.

She arrived at 1.45am yesterday after a 4 1/2 natural birth at Sydney's Royal North Shore private hospital.

The girl was a surprise for the tennis ace and soap star who had had a "gut feeling" they were having a boy and had settled on the name Cody.

The couple have sold the story rights and first pictures of the baby to a women's magazine for more than $1 million.

"Bec and Lleyton are absolutely thrilled," said a spokeswoman for the magazine. "The birth went very smoothly and they have been touched by the public's well-wishes and support."

Speculation mounted yesterday that the baby's name would be withheld until the story was published -- possibly two issues away.

The $1 million-plus deal is on top of the $750,000-plus the couple have reaped from the exclusive magazine deals for their engagement and wedding stories.

The hospital pulled out all stops to help the couple protect their deal, putting on five security guards around the clock.

Hospital CEO Greg Brown even gave up his own car space for Hewitt's Mercedes M-class 4WD.

The couple arrived at the hospital about 9pm on Monday and were quickly ushered to the luxury Crow Suite of the birthing centre, where Hewitt remained with his wife and newborn.

As of last night, he had not left his wife's side.

One woman due to give birth in three weeks said a friend inside the hospital had told her: "Don't have your baby yet, Bec Cartwright has taken over the Crow Suite.

"The Crow Suite is the one everyone wants. It's like a hotel in there," the woman said.

The suite, one of two with a spa, has a lounge for family and friends.

In a happy twist, Lleyton's former Davis Cup coach Tony Roche visited the same hospital yesterday to take a peek at another newborn.

Kelly, eldest daughter of Roche and wife Sue, gave birth to daughter Claudia on Friday.

It's the second grandchild for Roche, the former Australian Davis Cup coach who's now tutoring world No. 1 Roger Federer.

Hewitt's home town of Adelaide celebrated yesterday with the champ's proud grandparents Max and Dawn Hewitt reporting Lleyton was "as happy as a lark".

Home and Away star Ada Nicodemou said: "I'm so thrilled for Bec and Lleyton. A little girl -- how gorgeous."

Bec, 22, and Lleyton, 24, met five years ago at a Starlight Foundation charity tennis day.

They began dating last year and became engaged six weeks later, in January.

Hewitt popped the question on the night of his loss in the final of the Australian Open.

Mother and child are expected to leave hospital before Friday.

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Bec and Lleyton have baby girl

Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies

30 November 2005

An ecstatic Lleyton Hewitt fired off text messages to friends and family in the middle of the night after his wife Bec gave birth to their first child, a daughter.

The former Home and Away actor most know as Bec Cartwright delivered the healthy girl at about 1.45am (AEDT) on Tuesday in Sydney's exclusive Royal North Shore Private Hospital.

"Lleyton and Bec Hewitt are pleased to announce the overnight arrival of their first child, a healthy baby girl," the Hewitts' manager Rob Aivatoglou said.

"At this stage Lleyton and Bec have not announced a name for their new arrival. Lleyton and Bec are absolutely thrilled.

"Most importantly, everything went smoothly and mother and daughter are well.

"Bec and Lleyton very much look forward to taking their daughter home in the coming days."

Friends of the tennis ace and his wife of four months were woken by text messages in the middle of the night.

One friend said the message announced a baby girl, that mum and bub were doing well and that dad was very happy.

Bec's former Home and Away castmates heard the news on set early on Tuesday morning.

"Everyone was just so pumped and excited for her," said Jason Smith, who plays Robbie Hunter on the popular soap.

"It's been a long time coming and the whole Home and Away set is buzzing at the moment and so happy for her and Lleyton.

"Now there is a little Bec Junior out there. I reckon it will look a cross between the two of them and be an actor who plays a tennis player."

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